Omicron Variant: Tanzania Sets New Strict Guidelines For Travellers Amidst Covid-19 Surge
By Uganda Online Media Correspondent
Tanzania’s Ministry of Health has stipulated new requirements for those traveling from Tanzania to the US, Europe, India, UAE and Rwanda in a renewed effort to curb the rising number of Coronavirus cases mostly driven by the new Omicron variant.
The measures include vaccine mandates and mandatory Covid-19 testing to reduce or prevent the further spread of the disease.
In a statement issued and signed by Prof Abel Makubi, the Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary stated that travelers from Tanzania to the US, the United Arab Emirates, India, and some European destinations are required to undergo a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen before departure
“I would like to inform you that travellers whose destination is the United State of America, the United Arab Emirates, some European countries and India will be required to undergo a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test within six hours before departure,” the statement reads in part.
Without specifying which are ‘some’ European countries, Prof Makubi said all travellers leaving Tanzania (and those on transit) are required to first have a valid RT PCR Covid-19 Test Certificate and undertake Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test at the Airport six hours before travelling.
“This requirement is mandatory for travellers whose destination is the United States of America, India or some of the European countries,” explained Prof Makubi.
For those travelling to travellers to the United Arab Emirates or to those on transit in Dubai, doing a Rapid PCR Covid-19 test and having a valid Covid-19 Vaccine Certificate are also required.
On the other hand, travelers heading to India, Rwanda, DRC Congo and part of Europe are required in addition to a valid RT – PCR certificates specified by country of their destination, to perform a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test prior their departure.
On top of that, all travelers must provide a negative Covid-19 certificate, failure to do so would result into denied entry or penalty according to the Health Ministry.
“Please note, negative Covid-19 test certificate upon arrival is mandatory, the penalty shall be imposed to non-compliant conveyances while travelers without a negative Covid-19 test certificate upon arrival shall be denied entry and repatriated at conveyance cost,” the statement which came into effect on Christmas day, December 25, states.
Prof Makubi urged the citizens to continue adhering to the public health and social protocols set for Covid-19 control particularly, vaccination, hand washing with soap and running water, face masking, and observing social distance.
“The Ministry will continue to take concrete steps to ensure every citizen is protected from Covid-19. The implementation of some of these directives has been communicated to the public in the past,” he added.
As of December 20, Tanzania had recorded 27,849 cumulative cases and 737 deaths
No further update on Covid-19 status and no record of new variant reported.